Junior Achievement mentors listen, share ideas
Third-graders at McKeesport Area's Centennial Elementary School were asked a simple question on Friday: What do you want to be when you grow up?
“I want to be a race car driver,” Dewayne Allison wrote on a card handed out by volunteers from Huntington Bank and Junior Achievement.
“I want to be a teacher,” his classmate Malayshia Nelson wrote.
“I would like to be a veterinarian,” Zoe Kelley said.
“What's your favorite animal?” JA volunteer Kara Prentice asked.
“I'd say a cat,” Zoe said.
“My daughter would like to be a veterinarian, too,” Prentice said.
The questions were part of a series of classes led by Huntington Bank staffers and others involved in the Mon Yough Advisory Council of Junior Achievement.
“We are here teaching financial literacy, workplace readiness and entrepreneurship,” JA educational program manager Ashley Cycak said. “Huntington selected this school. They've been here multiple years.”
McKeesport Area is one of seven districts where the local Junior Achievement council has had programs in recent years.
Cycak said Clairton City fifth-graders attended a career fair earlier this week at Duquesne University. Other programs have been conducted in Steel Valley, Norwin, West Mifflin Area, South Allegheny and Elizabeth Forward districts.
“I did it last year as well,” said Victor Capozzolo, Huntington senior vice president and regional development director, as well as a newly elected member of the Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
“We add a lot of real-world perspective,” said Capozzolo. “You find these kids have a lot of bright ideas that usually don't get expressed in their daily routines.”
Capozzolo taught a class to third-graders last year. He expected to see many of them on Friday as he was tackling a fourth-grade class.
Volunteers and bank employees also went to Centennial kindergarten, first- and second-grade classrooms.
“We really believe it is important to begin to teach students at a young age about understanding money and finances,” Huntington Bank vice president and senior community development relationship manager Lisa Quattrochi said, “in order to help prepare them for challenges that they will face later in life.”
The questions about future careers were an icebreaker, though not an easy one for some of the youngsters.
“How do you spell ‘firefighter?'” one boy asked.
“In everything you do, you can learn something,” Prentice said to open her program in third-grade teacher Dana Lawson's classroom.
Her icebreaker also involved linking all the students with a long white streamer, giving each a share as she asked them what their hobbies and interests were and what they wanted to do later in life.
“This is just fun to do,” student Paul Francis said. “She is showing us all this nice stuff.”
Including a football helmet.
Prentice's day job is a chemist, but she is a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Passion of the Women's Football Alliance, which has a 3-1 record going into Saturday's game with Boston at Highmark Stadium on the South Side.
Neal Shipley, another Huntington senior vice president, reminded students in substitute teacher Peter Yannopoulos' classroom of someone.
“You look exactly like Dr. Seuss,” a third-grader told him.
“How do you know what Dr. Seuss looks like?” Shipley wondered.
Another student suggested, “Santa Claus.”
“I got that,” Shipley said.
Noticing a city planning chart on the board, Shipley sought to get the students to discuss the early history of McKeesport, asking what transportation likely was used at the founding of a town at the juncture of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers.
Some said trains, cars and buses, but no one talked about boats, such as John McKee's ferry.
Quattrochi said the classroom effort is part of her bank's long history of reaching out and providing financial education to adults and students.
She said it is something Huntington has done since its founding in Columbus in 1866 and in Pittsburgh since it acquired Sky Financial Group in 2007.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport, school district shore up safety at dangerous intersection
- West Mifflin Area to celebrate newest graduate’s life, legacy
- Casey calling for Medicare Part B freeze
- Clairton man arrested on drug, weapon charges
- Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh to rehab East McKeesport home
- Mon River Fleet honors 2015 Women of Achievement
- Homestead residents to get emergency alerts from borough in 2016
- Sewer system lease could dissolve McKeesport’s municipal authority
- Dictionary distribution gives Forward 3rd-graders taste of old school
- ‘Coffee With a Cop’ takes stress out of police relations with Elizabeth Township residents
- EQT: No drilling in McKeesport planned before 2017